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Revolutionize Your ECommerce Game with Amazon FBA Shipping and Logistics

My Amazon Guy

A seller needs to be familiar with Amazon FBA shipping and logistics because it is a crucial aspect of running a successful business on the Amazon platform. Navigating this can feel like a maze, but we’ve prepared this blog post to guide you.

Amazon FBA Shipping and Logistics: Prepping, Packaging, Labeling

Prep and Packaging Requirements

Amazon does have specific guidelines for preparing items for FBA shipments based on the category or type of product. There are guidelines for loose products, items sold as set, products in perforated boxes, etc. 

These guidelines ensure that the products are packaged and labeled correctly to meet Amazon’s requirements and ensure a smooth fulfillment process. 

Based on the shipment checklist from Amazon FBA, below are the supplies you need to have when preparing a shipment.

 

Product and shipment 

prep workstation  

Printer (Amazon uses Zebra GX430t model printers with a direct thermal setting)  

Scale for weighing boxes  

Measuring tape to measure boxes  

Printed copies of the Prep Matrix and Shipping Matrix  

Amazon barcodes (printed from your account, if applicable)  

Paper for packing slips  Tape  Dunnage (packing materials)  

Boxes  

Poly bags (at least 1.5 mils thick)  

Opaque bags (adult products only)  

Bubble wrap  

“Sold as Set” or “Ready to Ship” labels

Labeling Requirements

Labeling guidelines for FBA shipments are an important aspect of preparing and shipping products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. These guidelines ensure that products are properly identified and can be efficiently processed within Amazon’s logistics system. Here are some key labeling guidelines for FBA shipments:

Amazon FBA Shipping and Logistics - Label Requirements

Shipping And Receiving Requirements

The FBA shipping and receiving requirements refer to the guidelines and procedures that sellers must follow when sending their products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers and receiving inventory into their FBA accounts. These requirements ensure that the fulfillment process is efficient and smooth. Here are some key FBA shipping and receiving requirements:

Shipping Plan Creation

  • Sellers are required to create a shipping plan in Amazon’s Seller Central to notify Amazon about the products they will be sending.
  • The shipping plan includes information such as the quantity of each product, the shipment origin, and the shipping carrier details.

Here’s a couple of My Amazon Guy’s videos on creating FBA shipment

Carrier Selection

  • Sellers are responsible for selecting and arranging the shipping carrier to transport their products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
  • It is recommended to use reliable carriers that provide tracking and insurance for the shipment.

Receiving Inventory

  • Once the shipment arrives at the designated Amazon fulfillment center, Amazon’s warehouse staff will receive and process the inventory.
  • The received inventory will go through quality checks and be placed into Amazon’s inventory system for fulfillment.

Compliance with Amazon's Policies

  • Sellers must comply with Amazon’s policies and guidelines regarding prohibited products, restricted categories, and safety requirements.
  • It is important to ensure that products are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Amazon FBA Shipping and Logistics: Inventory Management and Storage

Best practices for managing FBA inventory

Managing FBA inventory effectively is crucial for successful selling on Amazon. Here are some best practices to consider:

 

  1. Accurate Inventory Tracking:

    Keep track of your inventory levels in realtime to avoid running out of stock or overselling.

    Regularly reconcile your inventory with Amazon’s reports to ensure accuracy.

 

  1. Forecasting and Replenishment:

    Use historical sales data and market trends to forecast demand and plan your inventory replenishment.

    Set up automatic reorder alerts or use inventory management software to streamline the replenishment process.

 

  1. Optimize Product Listings:

    Optimize your product listings with relevant keywords, compelling titles, clear and concise descriptions, and highquality images.

    Regularly monitor and update your listings to improve visibility and conversion rates.

 

  1. Monitor Performance Metrics:

    Keep a close eye on key performance metrics such as inventory turnover rate, days of inventory, and sellthrough rate.

    Analyze these metrics to identify any inefficiencies or areas for improvement in your inventory management strategy.

 

  1. Utilize FBA Storage Options:

    Take advantage of Amazon’s storage options, such as longterm storage, to optimize your inventory storage costs.

    Use tools like the FBA Inventory Age report to identify slowmoving inventory and make informed decisions to prevent excess storage fees.

 

  1. Stay Compliant with Amazon’s Policies:

    Adhere to Amazon’s policies and guidelines regarding product quality, condition, and safety to avoid potential issues or penalties.

    Regularly review and update your inventory to remove any prohibited or restricted products.

 

  1. Efficient Return Management:

    Have a clear process in place for handling customer returns and ensuring timely and accurate refunds or replacements.

    Regularly assess returned inventory for potential resale or disposal to minimize losses.

 

  1. Regular Inventory Audits:

    Conduct regular physical inventory audits to ensure accuracy and identify any discrepancies or potential issues.

    Use inventory management software or barcode scanning tools for efficient and accurate audits

Strategies For Optimizing Storage Space In Amazon Warehouses

Dealing with excess inventory and long-term storage fees

If you have excess inventory on Amazon and want to avoid long-term storage fees, there are a few strategies you can consider. 

 

First, you can lower the price of those items to encourage sales and get them moving. By offering a discounted price, you can attract more buyers and reduce the amount of excess inventory you have.

 

Another tactic is to create sponsored product ads to increase visibility and drive more traffic to your listings. This can help generate sales for your excess inventory and prevent it from accumulating further.

 

It’s also important to note that if an item hasn’t sold in six or more consecutive months and has been in an Amazon fulfillment center for over six months, Amazon will automatically start shipping it out. So, to avoid long-term storage fees, it’s crucial to ensure that your items have consistent sales every month.

Amazon FBA Shipping and Logistics: Shipping Methods and Carriers

Choosing the right shipping method for FBA shipments

Shipment Size and Weight:

  • Evaluate the size and weight of your shipment. Smaller and lighter shipments may be more cost-effective to ship via small parcel carriers like UPS, FedEx, or USPS.
  • For larger and heavier shipments, you might consider freight options such as Less Than Truckload (LTL) or Full Truckload (FTL) shipping.

 

Delivery Speed:

  • Determine the desired delivery speed for your products. Expedited shipping methods like air freight or express carriers can deliver products quickly but may come at a higher cost.
  • Standard shipping options like ground transportation may be more economical but have longer delivery times.

 

Cost Considerations:

  • Compare the shipping rates and fees offered by different carriers or freight forwarders.
  • Consider the overall cost, including transportation charges, fuel surcharges, accessorial fees, and any additional services required.

 

Destination and Distance:

  • Consider the destination of your shipment and the distance it needs to travel. Some carriers may have better coverage or more competitive rates for specific regions or countries.
  • Evaluate the transit time and reliability of carriers in delivering to your desired destinations.

 

Tracking and Insurance:

  • Ensure that the chosen shipping method provides tracking capabilities to monitor the progress of your shipment.
  • Consider the level of insurance coverage offered by the carrier to protect your products during transit.

 

Amazon’s Partnered Carrier Program:

  • Amazon has a Partnered Carrier Program that offers discounted rates for FBA shipments.
  • Evaluate if using Amazon’s partnered carriers aligns with your shipping requirements and provides cost savings.

 

Packaging Requirements:

  • Consider the packaging requirements of your products. Some carriers may have specific packaging guidelines or restrictions that need to be followed.

 

Volume and Negotiation:

  • If you have a high volume of shipments, you may have leverage to negotiate better rates with carriers or freight forwarders.
  • Explore opportunities for consolidating shipments or using thirdparty logistics providers to optimize costs.

Questions To Ask When Comparing Shipping Rates And Services Of Different Carriers

When comparing shipping rates and services of different carriers, it’s important to ask the right questions to make an informed decision. Here are some key questions to consider:

 

  1. What are the shipping rates for my specific package size and weight?

   – Obtain detailed pricing information for your specific shipment characteristics to compare costs accurately.

 

  1. Are there any additional fees or surcharges?

   – Inquire about any additional charges, such as fuel surcharges, residential delivery fees, or accessorial fees, to understand the complete cost structure.

 

  1. What is the transit time for my shipment?

   – Understand the estimated delivery timeframes offered by each carrier to ensure it aligns with your customer’s expectations.

 

  1. What is the coverage and reliability of the carrier?

   – Assess the carrier’s track record in terms of on-time delivery, package handling, and overall service reliability.

 

  1. Do they provide package tracking and delivery confirmation?

   – Confirm that the carrier offers tracking capabilities and delivery confirmation to keep both you and your customers informed about the shipment’s progress.

 

  1. What are the pickup and drop-off options?

   – Determine if the carrier offers convenient pickup options, such as drop-off locations or scheduled pickups, that align with your operational requirements.

 

  1. Is insurance included or available for purchase?

   – Inquire about the carrier’s insurance coverage options to protect your shipment in case of loss or damage during transit.

 

  1. What is their customer service like?

   – Assess the carrier’s customer service reputation, responsiveness, and availability to address any inquiries or issues that may arise.

 

  1. Do they have any specific requirements or restrictions?

   – Check if the carrier has specific packaging, labeling, or documentation requirements that need to be met for smooth and compliant shipping.

 

  1. Are there any volume discounts or negotiated rates available?

    – Explore potential volume discounts or negotiated rates, especially if you anticipate a high shipping volume, to optimize costs.

Can I Negotiate Shipping Rates With Carriers For FBA Shipments?

Yes, it is possible to negotiate shipping rates with carriers for FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) shipments, especially if you have a high shipping volume or can offer consistent business to the carrier. Here are some tips for negotiating shipping rates:

 

  1. Research and Compare:

   – Before negotiating, research and compare rates from different carriers to have a clear understanding of the market rates and industry standards.

 

  1. Know Your Shipping Volume:

   – Understand your shipping volume and be prepared to provide accurate data to the carriers. The higher your shipping volume, the more negotiating power you may have.

 

  1. Highlight Your Business Potential:

   – Emphasize the potential for a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership. Highlight your growth plans and the potential for increased shipping volume in the future.

 

  1. Demonstrate Loyalty:

   – If you have been consistently using a particular carrier for a significant amount of time, mention your loyalty and the value you have brought to their business.

 

  1. Leverage Multiple Carrier Options:

   – Approach multiple carriers simultaneously and inform them that you are considering different options. This can create competition and incentivize carriers to offer better rates.

 

  1. Request Customized Quotes:

   – Reach out to carrier representatives and request customized quotes based on your specific shipping needs. This allows you to compare and negotiate based on your unique requirements.

 

  1. Consider Additional Services:

   – Look beyond just shipping rates and consider additional services that carriers may offer, such as tracking, insurance coverage, or value-added services. These can be negotiation points as well.

 

  1. Negotiate Contract Terms:

   – Negotiate not only the shipping rates but also the terms of the contract, such as length, termination clauses, and any performance guarantees.

 

  1. Seek Professional Help:

   – Consider working with a freight broker or a shipping consultant who specializes in negotiating carrier contracts. They may have existing relationships and expertise that can benefit your negotiations.

Amazon FBA Shipping and Logistics: International Shipping and Customs

Navigating international shipping requirements for FBA

When it comes to international shipping requirements for FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), there are a few key things to keep in mind:

 

  1. Product Compliance: Ensure that your products comply with the regulations and restrictions of the destination country. This includes any specific labeling, packagi